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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  December 18, 2013 11:00pm-12:01am PST

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i think dialogue. changing hearts and minds is much more powerful. all of the places i have been, in the dark corners, that's the power. >> stewart milk gets tonight's last word. thank you, stewart. >> thank you. the scrooge party. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. let me start with this battle for christmas. on one side lies the scrooge party, not a cent more in minimum wage. it barks any more lip from you and you'll lose that low-paying job of yours. on the one side, since the scrooge party that wants to deny health care and cut off food
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stamps. one of them declared, no work, no food. with a week to go before christmas, the two parties are showing where they stand. by the way, you'd be hard-pressed to find any holiday spirit inside the far right's legislative agenda that led a coordinated attack on the poor that rejected proposals that would help poor people earn a living wage. they rejected a free expansion of medicaid. and the resistance to calls to extend unemployment benefits to millions of people looking for work. republicans, including john boehner, have consistently rejected any increase in the minimum wage ever since the president brought it up in his state of the union address. and two people tell "hardball" there's no action in the senate or the house because of gop disinterest.
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the public overwhelmingly supports the increase in the minimum wage. the average response that it should be raised is up to about $10 an hour which is actually higher than what the president wants. he wants $10.10. the public wants $10.25. 23 times of the minimum wage raising came during a republican congress. so let me go to senator brown. is that's what's going to have to happen? some kind of deal that brings in the republicans and says here's something for you guys because you don't want a minimum wage increase? >> i'm not clear. i know we will come back at the
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first of the year. the first couple of things i believe that we will work on in the senate is to extend unemployment benefits and a couple things that are significant, one, if it's got a cost of living adjustment built in, if we can raise it to $10.10, and it will keep up with inflation, and the other thing that's important in this is right now the minimum wage for tipped employees is only $2.13 an hour. and that's not just waitresses and diners. it's people who push the wheelchairs at airports, valets. it would be a significant raise for some of the lowest income people who are working every bit
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as hard as any of us work, people waiting tables, pushing the carts at the airport. >> you mean the red caps, those guys who take your luggage at the curb, you're saying they don't get minimum wage now? >> in most cases they don't get minimum wage. typically, now, a lot of these people aren't working for the airlines. it's been outsourced to another company. so the airlines don't have to take any heat when it comes out that they're paying sometimes minimum wage. they rely on tips. oftentimes if things are slow the tips aren't coming in at all. that's why it's important to raise that minimum wage which hasn't been raised sense the early 1990s. the tipped wage there has been set at $2.13 for decades.
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there are a number of house members that have voted for pay raises for themselves but don't want to pass a minimum wage. that's outrageous. >> i know why people think about the people who catch the bus, go to work 40 hours a week. what's the opposition based on? some people say it's the social, christian religious right who think people aren't working hard enough. who is opposed to it? >> i think it reflects of opposition of anything that the president and his party are proposing at the moment and this ideological opposition to anything that government's doing is assumed to be bad. i just got back from ben bernanke's farewell press conference. they were talking about fiscal drag and the percentage and a half off of growth this year. the jobs that have not been created as a result of the
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fiscal policy. >> he thinks we should have a bigger deficit? >> he said spend more in the short term and cut back more in the long term. >> what about this argument, what are you hearing, senator brown? you've got 45 republicans in the senate, they can filibuster this baby if they want. do you think they will when harkin moves the bill? >> i've been part of two minimum wage increases one in the senate and the house in '07. president bush came around because he saw the public support for it. the senate then was 51/49 in '07. they could have filibustered. but they backed off when they sought public support. and some genuinely believe that the minimum wage is a tool we should use, a tool that deals with some of the income inequality in this country. in the '90s when it passed
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there's sort of a crescendo effect. initially republicans were against it. once you get sort of a critical mass of votes there will be a cascading of republican votes. that's typically what happens in minimum wage because people don't want to be against if that way. >> it's not just the minimum wage. i've always heard that if you get the bottom up, near the bottom benefit, why aren't the labor unions pounding the drum on this i sag if you are the guy getting $10.10 an hour washing the dishes, that everybody else gets pushed up a notch. >> at a fast food, maybe they're making $1 over minimum. the crew chief at night is probably making $2 over that. you'll see a slightly enhanced standard of living for a number low-wageworkers. the opponents say only x number of people are living on minimum
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wage. that may be true, but there are people who are 50 cents, $3 above minimum wage. they will be pushed up too. that kind of raise is significant in their lives. >> any way, republicans have short changed the working poor when it comes to the issue of expanding medicaid. medicaid which is people with the poverty level. you get the working poor to get health care as well. republicans in 23 of the 50 states are still rejecting a provision to provide health care to poor people at basically no cost to those states. there are nearly 5 million low income people who will not be able to afford insurance. the majority of that group is
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made up of blacks, hispanics and other minorities. not in keeping with the gop's autopsy goals to woo minorities. these people are not making much, they're not going to pay for health care. there's so little to pay for food and clothing. >> you've got medicaid, food stamps, infants and children, head start. each one of these programs by itself, it's very big if you're the person affected by it. it doesn't necessarily affect the economy overall, but you're seeing this overall pattern which is brought out during the holiday season of pushing back. why isn't the minimum wage indexed the way others are. >> this is a standard from the '70s. and i drafted an amendment. i was working for the last liberal from utah. and the senate democrats voted
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it down because they wanted to have the option to raise the minimum wage on a regular basis and get credit for it. let me ask you about governor kasich. he's done the right thing on medicaid in your state, is that right? >> i called him and thanked him for that. i wished he had set up the exchanges. the legislature has tried to block it. governor kasich did the right thing here. if you live in a state like texas and your governor who's on an ideological mission refuses to take 100% of the cost from the government and then up to 90% beyond that or 90% beyond that, so it's really a gain economically for the state in addition to what it means, obviously for all these people. one of the most important things we can do to deal with income equality is to provide, give
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incentives for work by providing medicaid for these people who are making $9 and $10 and $11 an hour. >> by the way, rick perry wasn't known to be the smartest. ohio is a political state, it seems to me, since i was a kid, a political junky at 14 or 15. ohio seemed the most interesting state. it seemed the state that is most typical. isn't it really where we are on the edge? >> when all of you called ohio, you said that barack obama's reelected. >> no, i said if he carried virginia he was going to carry ohio. >> that's right. virginia's getting more and more democratic. >> i won by six months last year, yet our delegation is 4 democrats and 12 republicans.
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yet the republicans are very, very conservative and on the wrong side in my view, of so many of these issues that i think will benefit our state that really give the working poor, the people who are working and struggling don't dress like we do. need social security, need help, they are working hard and playing by the rules and everything and they're getting no help from their government. we could work through all these things on unemployment insurance and there wasn't this sort of combativeness. >> i think you'd be a great running mate for hillary clinton, what do you think? >> i don't think so. i'm happy where i am.
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>> if asked would you? >> i'm really not interested. appreciate the compliment, though. >> it's in my mind, because i'm looking for a good, solid ticket there. for the ticket purpose, i think you would be a perfect, perfect pair. >> merry christmas to both of you. happy holiday, i should say. coming up, president obama's sending openly gay athletes to represent the u.s. in sochi. plus 2016, who are the democratic viable alternatives to hillary clinton if she doesn't run? now there's talk about jerry brown, the three-term governor of california. and president obama spreads a little christmas cheer to unsuspecting tourists at the white house.
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>> what's going on, man? what's your name? you've got ears just like me. >> yeah. >> has anybody ever said that? that's good, man. that gives you some special power. >> and there's steve harvey. finally, let me finish with the fear that's driving so many americans to the crazy right. this is "hardball," the place for politics.
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it's retirement season in congress. and three retirements offer big pickup chances for the other party. first, utah where jim mathheson. in iowa, republican congressman latham is calling it quits. and his district voted for president obama twice. and in virginia, frank wolf, a really good guy, his district went for president obama.
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welcome back to "hardball," the white house has sent a strong message of displeasure of russia's crackdown on gay rights by sending gay athletes there. for the first time, by the way, since the 2000 olympics, neither the president, the vice president or the first lady will join in the ceremonies. while some gay activists have suggesting boycotting the games all together, the president said he didn't support that move. >> nobody's more offended than me by some of the anti-gay and lesbian legislation in russia. one of the thing i'm looking forward to is maybe some gay and lesbian athletes bringing home the gold or silver or bronze
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which i think would go a long way in rejecting the kind of attitudes that we're seeing there. and if russia doesn't have gay or lesbian athletes, then it will probably make their team weaker. >> wow, for her part, caitlin cahow said that the white house was making a statement here. basically the white house is highlighting americans who know what it means to have freedoms and liberties under the constitution. billie jean king said she was excited. and said she was equally proud to stand with the members of the lgbt community in support of all the athletes who will be competing in sochi and i hope these olympic games will be a watershed moment. hudson, tell me this, i was
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talking about the '36 olympics and jesse owens and all those guys. hitler called them our black auxiliary, but we won with those guys. and i'm thinking about the historic echoes here. >> yeah. we know that there are going to be lgbt athletes who are going to be competing in sochi, and i think this is an enormous opportunity for the world athletic community to show support for lgbt athlete, even though russia is cracking down on their ability to be out and open, there is a growing movement of people who are ensuring that this conversation is being had at sochi, and i know that there are athletes that are equally excited in speaking out against these laws. i think billie jean king and caitlin are two that are making sure that respect is had.
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>> you know, i don't know whether kinsey's right in the percentage of people born gay. we know that from experience. don't the russians have this experience? and don't they, do they believe they're covering it up? do think believe they're repressing people? what do they think they're achieving? >> they do have that tradition, and there's an irony in all of this, because the legislation that has been passed in russia says it's now illegal to promote what it described non-traditional sexual relationships. >> the whole idea of promoting sexual orientation seems to fly against experience, you know. >> without question, whatsoever. they, of course, equate promoting to just talking about it and discussing it. particularly, with people under the age of 18. this is a bid, unquestionably by putin and his supporters in the
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parliament to respond to a desire on the part of the russian people, not all of them, but some of them, to express a sense of machismo. in latin america we have gay people too. i'm a political guy. is this putin's way of siding with the orthodox church? he needs that to keep the empire alive. is that part of that move? >> it is completely in keeping with his desire to project himself as a top guy at home with his desire to communicate with the constituency that he has russia's long term-quote-unquote traditional interests at heart, and it's also in keeping with his desire of projecting russia as a global
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power. and the message that he's going to send is that u.s. global power is on the wane. sure, it's a statement, but it probably doesn't trouble vladimir putin much. >> what are the chances of us winning this? the whole olympics? can we possibly beat the ruskys this time? with our team? i like to win. >> as do we all. i think we need to define what is winning. >> most gold medals. most total medals. how do you do it? >> i think there is added incentive to beat russia and to come out on top, but i see victory, not in terms of just what happens in the course of competition. i see it as what kind of statement our athlete's going to be making on the ground in sochi. i think that is going to be
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heard far louder than maybe the sports competition will be. so i'm hoping to see moments like we saw at the 1968 olympics, athletes being vocal, supporting the principles of the olympic charter. and i think -- >> any demonstration, do you foresee any demonstrations by our athletes in support of solidarity of lgbt people? fists in the air like in the '60s or things like that? >> we've been talking to athletes who are very interested in demonstrating and when you look at the rules, it prevents them from making a political statement, we've gone back to the language of the olympic charter, specifically, principle six which says discrimination of any kind is incompatible with the olympic movement. so if we look at the language of
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the olympic charter, there's a lot of leeway for athletes to talk about their opposition to these laws. avoiding ioc rule 450 and not subject themselves to persecution under russia's laws. >> what's the opening start? >> february 7, i believe, is the opening ceremony. >> thank you. and good luck in that group. and by the way, it's gay people, straight people, all united in this effort. up next, president obama surprises sight seers at the white house. this is "hardball," the place for politics.  [ mom ] with my little girl, every food is finger food.
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season, but cruz to the future is a kids' coloring book that requires a whole lot more red than blue. this is a childishly partisan book. >> yes, a coloring book about ted cruz is currently the number one book on amazon's list of children's coloring books. i know. it makes me happy too. this coloring book. [ applause ] this coloring book has everything kids love, from tons of fun text to mentions of partial-birth abortion. and this isn't some partisan glorification of ted cruz, because the inside cover states it is a fair and objective review of this real life super hero. so great job. i hope you create more conservative theamed activities
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and toys, like connect hillary to benghazi, and hungry, hungry food stamp recipients. next, there's no surprise that netflix broke records with their success of house of cards. they are set to reveal a new documentary called mitt. it's a look inside the presidential campaign and they got a lot of access. the presidential candidate's reaction when he knew he had lost the presidential election. >> what do you think you say in a concession speech?
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>> by the way, somebody have a number for the president? >> i do. >> okay. i hadn't thought about that. >> if you don't win, we'll still love you. the country may think of you as a laughingstock, and we'll know the truth. >> are you going to iron on? >> ouch. >> they become a loser for life. it's over. >> a year ago, we told you we'd love you no matter how this thing turned out. and -- >> now you're not so sure. >> now we're not so sure. >> the one true employment in american politics, when you lose. finally, it's not often that tourists visiting the white house actually get to see the president. but that's what happened when steve harvey proposed the idea during an interview. >> i ran into some tourists around the white house here.
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how about if you get on to these tours and me and you walk in and surprise the people on the tour. >> let's go do that. >> hey, guys. i got steve harvey here. >> what's your name. how you doing, sweetheart? you got ears just like me. >> yeah. >> anybody ever said that? that's good, man. that gives you some special power. how are you? >> i love you too. >> you know steve harvey? >> no, don't worry about me. >> i've never been ignored these many times ever. >> i've got ears just like you. that kid will remember that as long as he lives. next, if hillary clinton decides not to run or if she wants a sparring partner, which other democrat looks the strongest? you're watching "hardball," the place for politics.
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here's what's happening. the senate approves a bipartisan
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spending bill that eases some spending cuts. a 56-year-old woman from stone mountain, georgia has claimed her share of the megamillions jackpot. she's taken a lump sum after taxes. let's get you back to "hardball." welcome back to "hardball." two years before the 2016 primaries, hillary clinton has no viable challenger to her path to the democratic nomination. jerry brown has not ruled out a run. but in a quinnipiac poll, 62% of the respondents said biden would not make a good candidate.
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anyway, the progressive left has been pushing senator elizabeth warren in the magazines at least. last week she ruled out a run. a dark horse candidate, brian schweitzer has indicated he might launch a bid for the white house. he told real clear politics there's a whole lot of america that looks at each other and says well, there's 340 million people living in america. isn't there somebody else other than a bush or clinton who can be president in these modern times? it could be that the 75 year old governor of california, there he is jerry brown, who began his career in 1969 might be considering a fourth run for the white house. what a run he's had. the l.a. times said some are pushing him to try for another try for the white house even if it means taking on hillary rodham clinton. let me ask you this, you study
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the numbers, numbers, numbers. i would like to see a fight for the primaries. almost like the crazy fight i expect on the other side, for interest. and i think the issues ought to be debated. are we going into another iraq? i want to hear them say we're not going into another middle east war. >> there is going to be a primary, whether hillary wins or not. >> i'm hoping for something where it might just happen. a real battle. >> all the talk of, gosh, there's this debate within the democrat eck party, it's not showing up anywhere outside of -- we would see it in primaries for the senate, congress, where is it.
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>> the same sweet spot the senate's been in since hubert humphrey. a republican solution to health care, very gradual rollout. you're smiling. remember dan rather got into his fight with -- who was it? george senior got in this fight with dan rather. jimmy carter had a rose garden strategy that didn't work out too well. you have to have a fight on your side before you go to the general. >> doesn't it make sense that when you have an easy pass, you're more than likely to have an easy pass into the general. >> eisenhower. go back and look at it. he had to fight like hell at the convention. >> look at romney. they beat him up so much throughout that ridiculously long primary.
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>> santorum. >> they completely wiped him out and used up all his money. >> i'm looking at it with clear eyes -- and i love the glasses. -- clear eyes -- you don't always wear glasses -- clear eyes. isn't there somebody out there that can give hillary a good fight? >> i can't think of any one. >> anybody who can give her a tussle, make it interesting. >> not anybody, and i don't know how joe biden runs. who's the most significant opponent? the vice president of the united states. but where does he move? to the right? >> nobody's going to give her a hard fight, let's face it. there are two reasons to run, right? because you might want to be the vp. >> explain how that works. the mondale way, bush has done that. you run against the person, you fade-out sometime during the primary with good cheer and they call you back for vp.
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>> you're not going to run hard against her. so you don't want to tick her off and then you're disqualified from that. it's good to run once of about you run twice, except i'm not sure about the four times. >> look at these quinnipiac polls. they're fascinating out of iowa right now. clinton 45. paul, 44. look at this one, clinton, 40, christie 45. look at this one. cruz 41, clinton, 48. and there's clinton, bush, 47 to 40 for bush. no surprise there. all within the 40s. >> and it all goes to, look, these polls are just measuring the sentiment. >> that tells you something. >> the bit of good news you can see is that her numbers are better than barack obama's in
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iowa right now. he's the last poll that i saw there, he's in the low 40s. >> who's that? >> the president. so if you're a democrat that's really what you're being pegged at. hillary clinton has a name, she has 47%. that's not that hard to get in a state like iowa. the question is, once this race gets engaged, she's the best known person in this field, does iowa look like it does today? >> i remember when i was working as a speechwriter, and teddy kennedy was unbeatable. the minute he announced he disappeared. hillary announces. they'll hit her with the benghazi, benghazi, benghazi. whatever it means, it means something to them. that ramming of her day after day after day. >> they're going to collapse. she has a 75% approval rating, it's all going go back. >> we're doing christie.
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>> that one hearing where she says what difference does it make, we know what her real point was, just come on. we need to figure out what happened. >> but they're going to make like it sounded like she didn't care. >> hillary seems like she gets past these things somehow. i don't know how to explain it exactly. but i think the woman factor is significant for her. >> people who are our age who are women think it's our turn. can somebody run against her without attacking her? and if you do attack her, don't you lose? >> is this personal or policy? >> i think on policy you can go there. you can have the debates as you were talking about, especially on national security. >> people feel like hillary has been pillories opinion pilloried it time and time again. >> do you think it's time for a woman?
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>> i don't look at the world that way, but with all other things being equal, yeah. >> do you? you can't say? >> it would be great. yeah, of course. >> if they are equally qualified. >> you know what i would like to see? i'd like to see more women governors as well. >> all things being equal. i love that. happy holidays. thank you. up next, a methodist pastor who officiated the marriage of his gay son has been suspended. this is a very strong personal and national human rights issue coming up here. this is "hardball," the place politics. [ female announcer ] puffs knows winter is hard on your face. [ sneezes ] [ female announcer ] the start of sneeze season. the wind-blown watery eyes. [ sniffling ] the sniffling guy on the bus. and, of course, the snow angels with your little angels. that's why puffs plus lotion is soft.
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well, the democrats have swept every statewide office in virginia. that's because the republican candidate mark obenshain has conceded. they have been in a recount fight, but herring has held it. those democrats back then were different than the ones of today. we'll be right back after this.
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i have wrestled with this long and hard, after many conversations, prayers and thoughts, i cannot voluntarily surrender my credentials, because i am a voice now, for many, for tens of thousands of lgbt members in our church. i also -- [ applause ] we're back. that's a pastor who didn't intend to create national news when he officiated his gay son's wedding. this year, a parishioner filed a complaint against that pastor, the charge is performing a gay wedding.
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the pastor was asked to sign a statement saying he would never perform another gay wedding. he refused. and after a trial, he was given a 30 day suspension. today is the 30th day. >> we're back, that is pastor frank schaffer. i'm joined by pastor frank schaffer, and recently retired bishop of new hampshire for the episcopal church, and currently a senior at the church. what happened, pastor, if you stood up to your church and don't yield your office, your credentials? what would happen? would they declare them invalid? how will you be defrocked, if you will? >> well, thank you's chris, for having me here. it is an honor to be here,
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especially with the good bishop. that is the question everybody is asking right now. we actually don't know what is going to happen tomorrow. it is a possibility of -- for them to take my credentials. on the other hand, that is not really what the jury empowers them to do. so we don't actually know. >> okay, here is how it stands now. you have acknowledged that you witnessed -- in fact, performed the wedding ceremony for your son and his partner, you did that. that is on the record, right? >> i did that, yes. >> would you do it again if another same-sex couple came to you again? would you do it again? >> absolutely, i went on record before and am saying it again, i would absolutely do it again. >> how do you see your loyalties to your church, and how do you square those royalties which i assume you accept with your own decision-making in this regard?
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how do you put it together? >> well, i tell you what. i love the united methodist church. i even love the rules, except for the rules that are discriminatory. and to really refuse anybody minister-based on their sexual orientation is clearly discrimination, and i can't uphold those rules and was really clear on that. you know, the united methodist church stands for so many good things, but on this, we need change. >> where is the episcopal church on this, bishop? >> we're in a very good place, look, jesus broke all sorts of rules. he was always getting into trouble for that. and as best we can figure out, doing the right thing, caring for people, caring for people's needs, always trumps rules. and it seems to me that pastors should do that, as well.
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>> that is why we all liked his relationship with mary magdalene, i think that is why we all love that story, not that he had a relationship with her, but he consorted with her, and was friends with her. >> and that is the basic rules in christianity, he is doing something, he is taking a punishment and enough people will become fed up with punishing people in this way, and the rules will change. >> okay, let me ask you, pastor schaffer, do you feel like martin luther, or john wesley, today, what is your mood? because tomorrow you will be in or out, you can't stay in if they say you're out? >> i tell you what, i never chose this role, but now that i've been pulled into it i actually do feel i stand in the
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tradition of wesley, who also broke rules or martin luther i do feel the world is looking at me now watching me closely. and i gladly take that baton and carry it for the time being. >> well, martin luther broke up the whole system of europe, the whole nation states sort of followed him in terms of secular life, do you think you can change the methodist church, the church of john wesley? can you change it by your actions on this issue? >> i don't know if i can single-handedly do that, on my part, but i seem to have the attention and i can do the part that i can do, and hope that change can occur. >> we're very big on mavericks as you may have noticed over the years, and thank you for fighting for rights on marriage equality. and having guts, we like that here.
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all right, thank you, so much, pastor schaffer, the great state of pennsylvania. and thank you for joining us with the episcopal view of things, thank you so much. we'll be right back after this. , often for less. that's one smart board -- what else does it do, reverse gravity? [ laughs ] split atoms? [ flo chuckles ] [ whirring ] hey, how's that atom-splitting thing going? oh! a smarter way to shop around -- now that's progressive. call or click today.
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let me finish tonight with this, i don't think those old slams against the poor have the punch they used to have. who gets a kick out of fighting better minimum wage? who gets joy fighting against being above the poverty line?
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we're used to anger, people getting a free ride, getting out of working, the no work, no food battle cry, we heard that lately. but i don't think that is the battle cry on the right, it is not about envy, that somebody is getting something for nothing. no, i think it about that other emotion, fear, downright fear. people in this country are afraid of what is happening in the early decades of the 20th century. just afraid, they worry about all the illegal immigration that the government seems unwilling or unable to fight, they worry about the national debt, they see the congress, year after year not to be able to stop spending more than the government brings in. they worry about terrorists, what seems an endless war far from our shores. and this fear makes people angry, it makes them mad. the number one solution to this country is the right shift, the
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craziness for all of us on the center and the left to get control of our garment. firm rational control of our budget, the debt, the health care system, of course. less fear will mean less anger, less right wing nuttiness. and this is "hardball" right now, and thank you for joining us, chris hayes with "all in" starts right now. good evening from our nation's capital, i'm chris hayes, well, there will be no holiday cheer for america's long-term unemployed, it seems. tonight, the senate seems poised to go home for the holiday without extending benefits for 1.3 million americans depending on the checks, checks which will run out december 28th. the white house, along with those in both chambers didn't push, but in the end they were cut out. harry reid promised to push for xt